A few words of advice on omnichannel e-commerce applications18May

A few words of advice on omnichannel e-commerce applications

The OmniChannel, or multi-channel, approach is a concept that we hear about more and more in almost every sector. Electronic communication tools are shifting the consumer & brand relationship into a new paradigm that includes mobile, social media and even more recent technologies like virtual reality. In other words, no one has the luxury to choose to “not act on it”.

 

Unfortunately, truly understanding and making the best of this approach is easier said than done. It is a big challenge—especially for e-commerce businesses—to offer a consistent service to customers, all of whom want to communicate through several different channels simultaneously and belong to different cultures and therefore have different perceptions and expectations regarding different methods of communication. In a fiercely competitive landscape dominated by digital and social communication, each critical mistake can snowball in a heartbeat, potentially flattening you on the way. This is why I want to make a series of recommendations on how to develop OmniChannel strategies, especially for e-commerce businesses.

 

Rule 1: Don’t try to do everything at once. The goal of an ideal OmniChannel strategy is to interconnect various sales and service channels en route to an uninterrupted service. But don’t forget that every wall is built one brick at a time. So don’t rush. Identify your strategies, make careful plans and take confident steps one by one.

 

Rule 2: Your customers are not interested in whether you are ready for the OmniChannel strategy. They are not even interested in the existence of this approach. When you as a customer buy a mobile phone, you don’t care about which country manufactures the processor or who developed the screen, you just care that it works. In the same way, the only thing your customers care about is being able to shop easily at any time and in any place.

 

Rule 3: Don’t expect your team to overcome every aspect. Particularly in the short-term, try to find solutions that match your need for information, your level of experience and your available workforce. Work with consultants, find interns. In this way you will provide your core team with the opportunity to focus on what they know best.

 

Rule 4: Do not neglect your core customers. Do not employ strategies that might put off your loyal customer base in pursuit of new customers. Make sure you come up with surprises not only for new customers but also for existing ones.

 

Rule 5: Choose quality over quantity. Do not overwhelm your customers with a bombardment of messages, do not pressure them unnecessarily in the name of applying an OmniChannel strategy. Instead, develop approaches that answer their needs in a targeted manner and use the right communication channels capable of offering an insight into what they want, when they want it.

 

Rule 6: A problem often has more than one solution. Do not waste time on forcing one solution but try to look at a problem from different angles. In fact, my personal advice is that if you know a six-year-old child, ask his or her opinion. You will be surprised to see they may notice details that your team has missed.

 

Rule 7: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. In general, customers tend to pay more attention to payment methods, language and delivery issues. Make these your priorities.

 

Rule 8: Make sure that any solution you offer on one channel is also available through other channels. As the term OmniChannel suggests, the real objective of this strategy is to be able to offer customers the same service and the same level of quality via all available channels.

 

Lastly, if you plan to focus on one specific area as part of your OmniChannel strategy this year, go with mobile. 2015 marked a turning point as mobile traffic left all other Internet traffic behind for the first time. Let 2016 be the year in which you turn that to your advantage.

 

See you in my next blog.